Having been born in Japan and raised up in several countries such as Japan, U.S., England, and Thailand, the issue of multiculturalism has always revolved around me. This has been especially true since I started to live in the United States and particularly in NJ/NY area which is often times described as a “Melting pot” of the race, ethnicity, and culture.
My office is a nonjudgmental space, and I work to empower anyone in need to help make good decisions and better their lives. It has been long established that religious people of all faiths tend to underutilize traditional psychotherapy in favor of seeking out their clergy, and a part of that, I believe, results from a view that clergy, though Divine inspiration, can answer all of life’s problems.
I suppose you could say there are different levels when it comes to homelessness. Some individuals are in special housing due to suffering from a particular mental or physical disability, others are living in homeless shelters, and quite a few are living day-to-day on the streets in the surrounding areas of Hoboken. Many stories that I have heard can be difficult to digest, while other stories are exceptionally inspirational.
Some months ago a ministerial colleague, knowing that I am a licensed clinical social worker, mentioned to me that our denominational judicatory needed to get involved with “Emotional First Aid.” I pleaded ignorance and admitted that I had never heard of it. So this same colleague touted its concept stating it was a technique that she had been training in and that she thought had applications for training lay counselors in churches.
We are already two weeks into the seven weeks of the season of Lent that leads up to the celebration of Easter, according to the Christian calendar. Clearly, I speak from the perspective of a Christian minister as I write this. However, from the perspective of a clinical social worker, I would suggest that the concept of being penitent and reflective exists in other world religions.
As a person of faith who is committed to work towards the end of the violence that is still perpetrated against people of color, or against people of other religions, or against people with alternative sexual identities, I stand with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in working to root out injustice, but in a peaceful manner.
I have found that there are two kinds of responses to Valentine’s Day. The responses are I imagine more based on personality style—there are the romantics and the pragmatists. There are those persons who are romantics and love showering their loved ones with gifts. Then there are those pragmatists who think that the whole day is really a rather ridiculous because you can tell your loved ones everyday that they are loved and you don’t need Hallmark to tell you that.